Let's say you wanted to read a historical biography of George Washington. You have two choices before you:
1. A book written by John Adams, Washington's successor who lived during the time and was an eyewitness to what Washington did.
2. A book I wrote in the 21st century about Washington, even though I have no benefit of first hand knowledge or eyewitness accounts.
Which would you choose?
The question is almost rhetorical. There is only one answer.
Yet many reject the earliest biography of Muhammad's life, written a mere 130 years after his death, in favor of much later biographies which cast Muhammad in a completely different light. Many histories have been written about Muhammad's life, but to the critical historian, the earliest is considered the most authoritative, simply because there has been less time for legend to creep into the historical narrative.
Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (aka Ibn Ishaq), who died in 767AD, wrote the earliest biography of Muhammad. Other renowned biographers include Al Tabari (900s), Ibn Kathir (1300s) and Martin Lings (1900s). Whose is most authentic and authoritative?
I bring this up because many are refusing to acknowledge the historical source of the current conflict. Ibn Ishaq narrates several incidents where those who mocked or defamed Muhammad were slaughtered with Muhammad's full approval - examples provided below. Others however choose to view Muhammad in a more favorable light, albeit historically less authoritative, by making reference to Muhammad as told by much later historians. I tried to make this point earlier on someones FB wall and was rebuffed with "As for historians' views of Muhammad, they don't all agree, and they're not (or mostly not) one-sided to either extreme."
THE ROOTS OF ISLAMIC RAGE CURRENTLY
Muhammad had a way of dealing with those who insulted or mocked him.
A group of Jewish rabbis laughed and scoffed at Islam and the Muslims. Muhammad ordered them ejected from the mosque, whereupon some were dragged from the mosque by the hair on their heads and given a severe beating.
Muhammad ordered the killing of two girls, Fartana and her friend, for singing songs of a satirical nature about him.
Another young girl named Sara was mercilessly trampled to her death by a mounted soldier dispatched by Muhammad after she insulted him.
A woman named Asma bint Marwan was brutally murdered with Muhammad’s full knowledge, again for writing poetry deriding Muhammad. Muhammad solicited from among his men for someone to kill her, and one of his men volunteered. When told of the murder the following morning, Muhammad said “two goats will not butt their heads over her death.” This woman left five sons as orphans. According to other accounts of this same incident, the soldier who killed Asma first removed a suckling infant from her breast before plunging his sword into her.
Muhammad gave thanks to Allah when the head of one Abu Jahl was delivered to him. Abu Jahl’s crime was making a mockery of Ibn Mas’ud, one of Muhammad’s followers.
Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf composed poetry of an insulting nature against Muslim women. For this deed, Muhammad solicited from among his men volunteers to kill Ka’b. They lured Ka’b into the night for a friendly discussion, and at a suitable place killed him. Ibn Warraq adds that Ka’b’s head was delivered to Muhammad who praised their good works in the cause of God.
These are but a sample of the actions of Muhammad, recorded in history, which Muslims are still following today any time they feel their prophet has been slandered or mocked.
We can only understand current events by understanding accurate history, in this case Islamic history.